Habitat for Humanity Dane County Administration Office


A New Home

Habitat for Humanity Dane County (HFHDC) had outgrown their previous space, finding themselves constrained by inadequate space to efficiently carry out their operations and meet the growing demands of their mission. The HFHDC Central Campus project aimed to consolidate the organizations essential functions, enhance organizational efficiency, increase sustainability efforts, and foster the Dane County community. They sought a location that was close to where customers were familiar with yet spacious enough to accommodate the growth of both the administrative operations and the ReStore location.

When the recently vacated Odana Road Antique Mall became available, HFHDC saw it as an ideal solution to their current and future requirements. The newly refurbished 45,000 SF central campus now serves as a singular hub for the community, housing HFHDC’s administrative offices, versatile community, and educational spaces, an expanded ReStore West location, and ReStore warehouse – all united under the same roof for the first time. This transformative project resonates with HFHDC’s core mission of providing affordable housing solutions and empowering families towards stability and self-reliance.


Open & Flexible Space

Thoughtful planning and space division were essential project components to maximize the building’s programming and create an open, easy-to-navigate environment. HFHDC’s office and meeting occupy the western section of the building, strategically positioned to benefit from the newly installed windows that flood the space with natural light. This not only enhances staff productivity and well-being but also exemplifies Habitat for Humanity’s commitment to transparency and accessibility for visiting families.

Beyond serving as administrative spaces, this multifunctional facility doubles as a dynamic training hub for volunteers and new homeowners alike. Flexible-use areas, such as the breakroom, seamlessly merge with the expansive training room, ensuring fluidity in space utilization. The design incorporates an overhead garage door, enabling these areas to transition effortlessly between large communal settings and intimate meeting spaces, highlighting the facility’s adaptability.

Private offices were thoughtfully designed to serve dual purposes, seamlessly transforming into meeting rooms when not in use by flexible work-from-home personnel. Moreover, a family-centric conference room includes a dedicated breakout space catering specifically to children, ensuring inclusivity and comfort for all.

The Habitat Story

The design solution for the overall space is a balance of form and functionality with an emphasis on affordability. Strategic pops of Habitat’s bright, welcoming colors were incorporated through the store and office to create an inclusive and inviting atmosphere. The design team focused on reusing materials and integrating secondhand items from the ReStore was not only more affordable for Habitat, but also embedded the mission, sense of history, and community within the space. Incorporating thoughtful design elements such as thematic vinyl cutouts and utilizing the exterior wall of a home as 3D wall art, Habitat for Humanity vividly illustrates the journey of homeownership and construction. Keys, nails, and hard hats are creatively employed as vinyl wall art, providing a cost-effective yet artistic portrayal of Habitat’s narrative. These imaginative touches not only elevate the visual allure of the space but also serve as constant reminders of the organization’s unwavering mission and values.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Beyond the physical spaces, the project embodies HFHDC’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Consolidating operations has not only increased operational efficiency but also expanded the ReStore’s square footage significantly. More space in the ReStore translates to more income and greater capacity to assist families in need of housing. HFHDC builds about 15 houses annually in Dane County, and from this project’s increased efficiency and revenue the new central campus is now projected to build at least 17 houses per year equating to more than an 11% increase.

Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO)


Making a Masterpiece

Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra’s (WYSO) new 40,085 SF rehearsal and performance space serves not only as an iconic cultural gem for the city of Madison but a cutting-edge educational facility for young budding musicians. The building features three state-of-the-art rehearsal halls, eight studios, nine practice rooms, administrative offices, and a music library.

More than 500 young musicians aged 5-18 participate in WYSO. After years of growth and practice in schools, churches, and parking lots, this building is the first permanent space they can call their own. The facility was designed to hold all WYSO’s current orchestra and Music Makers students—with room to grow. Executive Director of WYSO, Bridget Fraser described the future music center as a triumphant new day for WYSO moving forward.


A Symphony of Shape

The striking design of the WYSO music center is inspired by the shapes of musical instruments. Sweeping curved roofs reflect the contour of a cello and the landscaped gardens mirror the shape of a bell and trumpet. Ceiling patterns and acoustic panels echo the shape of sound waves. The copper material used throughout the building imitates a timpani drum.

The large rehearsal halls each hold a 100-musician orchestra with balconies that offer viewers the opportunity for bird-eye observation. Because acoustics were of central importance, the building implements creative sound design in order to block busy street noise and isolate sound within each hall. 

Local Wisconsin materials were also used as a source of inspiration and the exterior was sourced from local Wisconsin limestone. The building also meets energy efficiency best practices, satisfies Madison rain-water-runoff goals, and includes a partial green roof.

First United Methodist Church


International Interior Design Association

Award of Excellence


American Society of Interior Designers

Gold Award for Custom Design


Welcoming Worship

This project focused on expanding and enhancing First United Methodist Church’s ability to serve its community by constructing a 26,000 SF addition. This addition aimed to provide essential support spaces, including a welcoming narthex, flexible fellowship hall, administrative offices, classrooms, a food pantry, and a serene chapel. Our team’s design approach was centered around creating an inclusive and inviting environment for both members and visitors.


Fellowship and Flexibility

The First United Methodist Church expansion is a testament to thoughtful design that seamlessly integrates the church’s rich history. The octagonal narthex on the first floor serves as a vibrant hub for church activities, featuring backlit stained-glass panels salvaged from their original building and built-in seating units. Inspired by the original octagonal-shaped sanctuary, this space provides a formal gathering area for before and after services, promoting community engagement.

A First-Floor Haven

The fellowship hall, also on the first floor, is designed for hospitality and maximum flexibility, with a full-service kitchen, acoustic design, and A/V technology to accommodate a wide range of uses and events. North facing floor-to-ceiling windows flood the space with diffuse natural daylight and establish a visual connection with the street.

Chapel of Serenity & Transcendence

The second-floor chapel, inspired by the themes of water, fire, and light, serves multiple purposes, including education, reflection, small ceremonies, and study groups. Large windows infuse the entire chapel with natural light, while mechanical window shades enable easy transformation into a presentation space. The chapel design draws inspiration from the Chartres Labyrinth, invoking a strong sense of simplicity and centering oneself. A double light cove enhances light-level flexibility, emphasizing the central element of the space. A textured wall, reminiscent of gentle waves, pays homage to the water-related metaphors and sacraments of the Christian faith. The architectural ceilings and labyrinth are accentuated by dramatic lighting on the back wall, creating interest without detracting from the overall design.

Strang’s solution for the First United Methodist Church expansion reflects a commitment to community, spirituality, and a welcoming atmosphere. With intentional design choices, from the narthex to the chapel, this project contributes to an inclusive and comfortable environment, strengthening the church’s connection with its members and the broader downtown Madison community.

Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ


A Strategic Choice

The Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ partnered with Strang on a transformative journey aimed at renovating their 50-year-old building to align with their evolving programming needs. Recognizing that their current facility fell short of meeting both current and future requirements, the collaborative planning process centered on a comprehensive and purposeful renovation to meet the church’s needs now and for many years to come.

The Strang team collaborated with the church to create a range of design options. The church, in consultation with Strang, strategically opted for the option that specifically addressed the most important goals of creating a more welcoming experience while improving the infrastructure and function of the building and accommodating critical needs within the worship hall, focusing on improving functionality and enhancing the worship experience. The objective of this option was to tackle the shortage of space for musicians and choirs in the worship hall, address poor sightlines for viewing musicians and projected images, and facilitate a smoother and more convenient exit from the sanctuary.

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A Spectrum of Enhancements

The design solution curated by Strang encompassed a spectrum of enhancements to address the diverse needs of Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ. The envisioned transformation included:

  • Remodeled entry
  • Welcome space renovation
  • New restrooms and showers
  • Transformed Friendship (Fellowship) Hall
  • Updated office and classroom wing finishes
  • Roofing, exterior wall repair, and window replacement
  • Landscape improvement
  • Electrical and fire alarm updates
  • Energy-efficient mechanical system upgrades
  • Add solar water heating system
  • Office and Classroom reconfigurations
  • Expansion of Worship Hall Seating
  • Larger, more flexible Chancel with new window
  • Improved Worship Hall Sightlines
  • Upgraded Finishes throughout Facility
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Significant Transformation

The strategic choice to embark on this significant transformation resulted in notable gains for Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ. The Entry and Reception were improved with intuitive wayfinding and sightlines improved from Reception to the Entry and improved flow. An “enfilade” was created through the 3 main community spaces: The Friendship (Fellowship) Hall, the Crossing (Narthex), and the Worship Hall. By replacing solid walls with floor-to-ceiling glass, space and light flow right through the building. The uninspiring existing Friendship (Fellowship) Hall was enlivened by the rhythm of plywood planes creating a vaulted space. A Labyrinth in the floor and new windows graced by relocated stained glass that draw in light and color complete the transformation of the mundane into the transcendent. The Worship Hall was transformed by opening up the Chancel with views to the outside. A transcendent worship space was created by introducing daylight and a connection to the outdoors, where the congregation experiences the changes of the seasons all year round.

The result was the creation of a welcoming space where we experience hospitality, conversation mutuality, and abundance.

Mount Zion Baptist Church


Strengthened Community

Fueled by an active congregation and visionary pastoral staff, Mt. Zion Baptist Church embarked on a mission to strengthen its community presence. Committed to expanding both worship capacity and outreach programs, the church engaged Strang for a 30,000 SF expansion project. Later, Mt. Zion Church again sought our expertise in crafting a 40,000 SF Family Life Center, seeking to further enhance its outreach initiatives.


Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Phase One: The initial phase involved a 15,000 SF addition to the existing church, featuring a 500-seat worship space, a welcoming narthex, administrative offices, lower-level classrooms, a versatile multi-purpose room, and a dedicated music room. The resulting design helps bolster Mt. Zion’s inclusive and engaging worship experience providing the perfect venue for the Mt. Zion Gospel Choir, one of Madison’s most beloved choral ensembles.

Mt. Zion Family Life Center

Phase Two: The second phase of our collaboration involved the elevation of the existing church and the construction of the new 40,000 SF Family Life Center.

Positioned in the vibrant south Madison neighborhood, this dynamic hub for social, youth, and athletic activities boasts a wide range of spaces, including a full-size basketball court, indoor running track, weight and exercise room, locker rooms with showers, wellness center, performance stage, seating areas, classrooms, food pantry, library, youth center, book club space, computer lab, and administrative offices.

In essence, both projects reflect Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s commitment to not only meet the spiritual needs of their congregation but also provide spaces that contribute to the holistic well-being of the wider community. Our multifaceted design not only enhances community engagement, personal development, and positive outreach but also strengthens the church’s impact on its members and the local community.

Door Creek Church


Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)

Wisconsin Projects of Distinction - Gold Award


Wisconsin Masonry Alliance

Excellence in Masonry Award


Community, Culture & Spirituality

Strang has collaborated with Door Creek Church over the past two decades to envision and steward their 32-acre campus. We began with a master plan for the entire site with the goal of creating a long-term vision to accommodate the growth of this vibrant congregation. Over the years, we have worked with the church to implement this long-term vision to support their mission, beginning with a 50,000 square foot Phase 1 followed by a 50,000 square foot facility, followed by a 38,000 square foot expansion. The overall goal for our collaboration with Door Creek Church has been to co-create a welcoming place that is both spiritually transcendent and culturally relevant.


Phase 1

The initial facility includes a large atrium that served as a central gathering hub and a flexible, multi-purpose worship space that accommodates 750 to 800 people. The lower level includes offices, children’s ministry space, and a flexible quad of four contiguous spaces, which provide educational and meeting areas with state-of-the-art projection booths, stages, and lighting.

Phase 2

The Door Creek Church congregation had outgrown its original facility and needed to transform its campus to respond to its ministry needs. This project involves the addition of a new atrium with a cafe, a variety of seating areas, a Fireside Room, a 300-seat Chapel, and a lower level containing new classrooms, meeting spaces, and a Youth Large Group Venue. The existing facility was remodeled extensively, transforming the Atrium, Auditorium, Library, and Children’s Ministry area.

Atrium: A Place for Community

The new skylit Atrium provides a welcoming front door to the facility, with a Welcome Center and a variety of seating areas for people to sit and fellowship over a cup of coffee. The Atrium is thoughtfully designed to balance community and privacy, with a higher middle space flanked by more intimate spaces with lower ceilings that provide comfortable spaces for people to meet and fellowship over a cup of coffee. An arched stone fireplace at the west end of the atrium provides a focal point to the space while helping provide definition and privacy to the Fireside Room without the use of doors.

Chapel: A Transcendent Place

The creation of the 300-seat Chapel was in response to the congregation’s need for a worship space for their traditional service, as well as a venue for weddings and funerals. The form and massing of the Chapel reflect that of the existing facility and elevate it to a more transcendent level. Deep overhangs pick up on roof forms of the existing facility and provide diffuse cool daylight into the chapel. The Chapel is intentionally designed to be the focal point of the Door Creek Church campus and the anchor of the overall massing and composition of the building.

The use of clear Birch plywood clouds, exposed structural beams, and curved knee braces that animate the ceiling plane was an economical design strategy, turning the need for frugality into an aesthetic virtue. The excellent acoustics, daylight streaming through three levels of windows, and views out to the landscape come together to create a truly transcendent space.

A Seamless Transition

The existing building has been remodeled extensively, transforming it so that there is a seamless and imperceptible transition between new and old. A number of congregants continue to say that they cannot determine where the original front door used to be, and where the old leaves off and the new begins. The new finishes and trim have been integrated into the public spaces of the existing facility and a new, light filled cafe has been created at the south end of the existing atrium. In the words of Lead Pastor Marc Maillefer, “We did not just gain 38,000 square feet of additional space, we now have a brand new 87,000 square foot facility.”

National Guardian Life Headquarters


ASID Wisconsin

Silver Design Award – Office/Corporate 21,000 to 49,000 SF

Inbusiness Business Commercial Design Awards

Best Renovation – Office


Reimagining the Workplace

Strang’s recent partnership with National Guardian Life Insurance (NGL), encapsulates our forward-thinking design approach. Recognizing early on that a post-COVID workplace would look very different from their current workplace, NGL began working with Strang to start reimagining their workplace.

NGL sought to create a workplace that would foster collaboration and connection for both clients and team members. The goal was to expand work options and offer a balance between in-office and off-site connectivity, mobility, and collaboration. This resulted in a master plan that offered an optimized and flexible work environment that is accommodating of current operations while remaining laser-focused on the future.


Priority Planning

Before designing a space, the first step is to listen to its users. Strang started our work on this project with an extensive review process including the creation of a Departmental & Priorities Survey for all employees. The primary central theme that was extracted was flexibility. NGL staff were enjoying the freedom of working from home and wanted to maintain a certain level of flexibility after the pandemic to continue working from home a few days a week.

Next, we focused on benchmarking, assessment, and analysis of both future space needs and the existing facilities. Facility assessments were conducted that resulted in recommendations for overall accessibility, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and life safety needs. Departmental spatial needs and headcount projections were used to calculate optimized required floor area projections and address facility space inefficiencies. Facility assessments and space analysis helped define an environment for NGL that would remain comfortable, accessible, and safe for all employees.

The final master plan considered the feedback of both employees and departmental stakeholders. The resulting aesthetic of the building was a professional modern design with clean and simple details. Spaces were well-defined; often using ceiling elements as visual separation cues. Color tones and finishes were warm in nature. Our initial, careful observations led to the design of increased collaboration spaces and an optimized floor plan. With NGL’s collaborative spirit and Strang’s forward-focused approach, this project was representative of the future standard of workplace design.

Natural Design

The project utilized high-performance, desiccant dehumidification and steam humidification systems for critical environmental controls. Premium efficiency, air-cooled chillers allowed for high performance lab cooling. Air-side energy recovery was applied where code-required and expanded where appropriate. The project evaluated the cost/benefit of variable volume fume exhaust systems and ductless fume hoods, with a final determination that VAV fume exhaust would result in favorable financial payback and energy savings, along with certain favorable applications for ductless systems. Additionally, air-side economizers were designed for spaces with significant cooling demands throughout the year.

Arts + Literature Laboratory

Arts + Literature Laboratory Gallery area
Arts + Literature Laboratory interior


Multifunctional and Flexible

The Arts + Literature Laboratory is a community-based art center that seeks to encourage visual, literary, and performing artists to explore and develop their craft. Art + Lit + Lab required a new space to help them foster an inclusive artistic community that connects artists and resources through education and cultural outreach, as well as provide a space to showcase the work of both established and emerging artists and writers.

Our objective was to create a space that could operate in a multitude of ways and provide a welcoming feel for everyone within the community. Art + Lit + Lab needed a functional working environment for the variety of programs and artistic mediums used within the space. This included studio space for artists, a community area, an educational space, and a performance stage. As art is often showcased at Art + Lit + Lab, they also needed to display this art in unique ways.

Because this space required such a multiuse function within a limited space and budget, this design presented certain challenges. Space for textiles, pottery, literature, storytelling, live poetry, music, and other artistic mediums all needed to be included within the design. Art + Lit + Lab is not only a doer space but a learning space and required a design that was multi-use, accessible, easy to convert, and easy to navigate.


Open Up

Strang’s central solution for Art + Lit + Lab’s needs was an open concept, multifunctional space that could be used for a variety of people and events. The first-floor gallery is separated by large 8 ft wide doors that pivot on their center, allowing for the room to be divided or opened up to create even more space, as well as showcase art in an unconventional way. Large windows were utilized not just for their natural light, but to display art and generate interest in those passing by and looking in. The second floor also made use of these windows, bringing in light throughout all areas of the space.

A library, writing center, multiple studio spaces, and an open concept community studio that can be used for a multitude of functions are located on the second floor while the first floor allows for more event and education space as well as gallery options.

Finishes and colors were kept simple and unobtrusive to allow for the focus to remain on the art being displayed. Basic concrete, wood, glass, and matte finish paints were all chosen to help showcase the art as the main story of the space, rather than the design.

Art + Lit + Lab stands out due to its multifunctional nature. It is not just an art gallery, performance space, or classroom–it encompasses a multitude of mediums and communities. This multi-purpose concept is designed to appeal not only to serious professional artists, but also to provide a welcoming atmosphere to any community member, amateur artist, or educational program that would use the space.

Eurofins Food Chemistry Testing

Eurofins office building


One-of-a-Kind Laboratory Design

Laboratory design might look simple—but these complex facilities often place numerous hours of design intent and laboratory protocol behind simple decisions. Finding the right balance between flexibility and efficiency is what makes a project like this sing. Eurofins is the global leader in food, environment, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic product testing. Their recent new Madison headquarters includes 108,000 GSF, high throughput, analytical laboratory space built with this kind of harmony in mind. They play a key part in the consumer food chain, and this laboratory is one of a kind–not just in Madison, but the world.

After outgrowing their previous facility, Eurofins needed a flexible and efficient space created specifically around their unique processes. They are now at home in a right-sized building designed to suit their every need and process. Their new building includes two main chemistry labs over 10,000 SF each with 44, 6-foot fume hoods.


Efficient Sample Analysis

Efficiencies have been designed into every aspect of this project, from sample receipt, prep, and analysis. Functions and processes were previously spread out across multiple floors and wings. Consolidating these areas into two very large labs (some of the largest single lab spaces in contemporary lab planning) allowed for a significant increase in efficiency.

This was especially beneficial to our client, where samples reign supreme. As a company they deal with thousands of samples every day, identifying, logging, and distributing them. Keeping these samples moving through the lab was essential in our design. Our designers worked to create a clear flow through the building from receiving to end. Guided wayfinding also helps lead both samples and employees through the necessary processes in a clear, efficient manner. Now, the samples make their way in a straight line from the loading dock to the laboratory. With the packaging area this close, it maximizes downtime. Saving seconds from the analysis of one sample add up when looking at the vast quantities of samples this company receives.

"I would absolutely recommend working with Strang."

Brent Rozema, Eurofins Food Testing

Mechanical Systems and Solar Array 360 Tour

Eurofins Madison Office 360 Tour

Sustainable Lab Systems

The project utilized high-performance, desiccant dehumidification and steam humidification systems for critical environmental controls. Premium efficiency, air-cooled chillers allowed for high performance lab cooling. Air-side energy recovery was applied where code-required and expanded where appropriate. The project evaluated the cost/benefit of variable volume fume exhaust systems and ductless fume hoods, with a final determination that VAV fume exhaust would result in favorable financial payback and energy savings, along with certain favorable applications for ductless systems. Additionally, air-side economizers were designed for spaces with significant cooling demands throughout the year.

Gebhardt Building

Gebhardt Building


Tale of Two Buildings

The Gebhardt Building, an eight-story mixed-use high-rise in Madison’s emerging East Washington gateway, is really the story of two buildings: The Gebhardt and The Sylvee. The integration of these two buildings on a single site creates not only an iconic performance venue and a public destination, but also provides a mix of retail and office spaces that help support the dense urban fabric of Madison’s isthmus.

This building is a unique design, housing both office space and a music performance venue for Frank Productions. We worked closely with the client to bring out the best of the entertainment space without impacting the quality of the offices.


Regional Redevelopment

The north side of the eight-story high-rise includes 125,000 SF of retail and commercial office space, including Strang’s new Madison office. The building’s south side features The Sylvee, Frank Productions’ new 2,500-person music venue. This 45,000-SF space features VIP suites and is a great addition to the exciting and dynamic music culture of Madison. This project’s mixed-use urban redevelopment is a part of the resurgence of the Capitol East District corridor, long in need of an economic boost.

The Gebhardt building, itself, is primarily an office tower, implementing both materials and forms similar to the surrounding buildings, thereby integrating itself into the fabric of the neighborhood. Ample glazing throughout, especially on the upper four floors of the tower, allows tenants equal access to daylight and views. Many floors enjoy views of both Madison lakes, owing to the unique geography of the isthmus. The first generation of tenants includes many iconic brands, increasing the vibrancy of the neighborhood. This space integrates international brands, like Google and Spaces co-working, with local icons, such as Frank Productions and the Vintage Brewery. Both the general contractor and the design firm (Strang) responsible for the core-and-shell design and construction of the development are also located in the building. The retail functions on the first floor ensure street-level activation throughout the day and into the night.

The result of this creative collaboration between multiple ownership groups and the design team is a unique mixed-use tower that not only vitalizes Madison’s Isthmus through office and retail uses but also provides a musical venue specifically designed for memorable experiences for both artist and patron, alike.